807 East Avenue South | La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 | 608.789.7600
Reopening Schools

July 28, 2020 elementary communication

LA CROSSE, Wis., (July 28, 2020) – Dear School District of La Crosse Families of Elementary Age Students. Our Superintendent, Dr. Engel, recently shared that the School District of La Crosse will be opening the school year remotely for all students 4K-12 for at least the month of September. When we do return to in-person learning, masks will be required by 1st-12th grade students and staff (except for those with necessary restrictions) in all phases of the County Compass.

As elementary principals we have worked closely with the County Health Department to understand their guidance in each phase of the County Compass and what school would look like within each of these phases.  There are various options out there for parents which may need additional clarification in order for families to make an informed decision for the fall.

One option is our blended model, which is a combination of remote and face-to-face instruction depending on the La Crosse County Compass guidelines. As mentioned above, the school year will begin with remote instruction through the month of September; with this being continuously evaluated based on county guidelines. The earliest we may be face-to-face with students would be October 5th.

We continue to finalize plans for this blended learning option for students when school starts on September 1st.  This will look different than when schools were closed mid-March. After reviewing and reflecting back we have learned what was effective and what was not as effective.  While the details are not yet finalized our staff will be better prepared to deliver instruction using our district curriculum.  Plans include:

  • iPads will be distributed to all K-5 students prior to the start of the school year.
  • Using a common learning management system for K-12 students (Canvas) which allows students, staff, and families to know and navigate one system.  Canvas provides teachers with new and exciting opportunities to deliver instruction and for students to show their learning.
  • Digitally engaging and connecting with students via whole class, small group and/or individually in real-time (synchronous) and recorded (asynchronous) for future access
  • Individual and timely feedback/grades
  • Planned and routine communication between teacher and parents (email, phone calls, video conferencing, etc.)
  • Be looking for regular communications and updates from your building principal regarding iPad distribution, virtual open house, virtual meet & greet with your child’s teacher, etc.
  • This option is assumed unless families apply for the Coulee Region Virtual Academy.

When we are able to come back to the building to learn face-to-face our goal would be to have a continuity of learning as these tools and practices will continue to be embedded within your child’s learning program. Safety protocols such as passive and active monitoring of symptoms of staff and students, social distancing, limiting the mixing of classes/cohorts, in addition to required mask usage by staff and students, will be in place.

Another option is the Coulee Region Virtual Academy. This is a longer term, online learning environment for students entering Kindergarten through twelfth grade from La Crosse, Onalaska, West Salem, Holmen, and Bangor. Teachers in the CRVA will be using a curriculum adopted by the Wisconsin e-Learning Network. This curriculum meets the same standards we use in La Crosse. However, children might learn content in a different sequence and use different resources.

  • Delivered by teachers from various Coulee Region schools
  • Is 100% online
  • Requires a semester long commitment
  • CRVA FAQ part I; CRVA FAQ part II
  • Online application due August 2nd

Note for 4K Families: Communication will be coming out in the next few days regarding the La Crosse 4K Learning Academy, a partnership between home and school, which will offer a home learning experience supported by a 4K licensed teacher for those families that do not want their child enrolled in face-to-face instruction for the 2020-21 school year but would still like their child to participate in the 4K learning targets.

Feel free to reach out to your building principal with any questions you may have.

Together we can,

Ben Burns, Hamilton/SOTA I

Eric Check, Emerson

Keri Holter, North Woods International

Laura Huber, Northside/Coulee Montessori

Dirk Hunter, Summit Environmental

Kari Huth, Spence

Jac Lyga, State Road

Amy Oliver, Hintgen

Lisa Schreiner, Southern Bluffs